Jehovah is an English reading of (second instance), ] and although seriously critiqued by John Drusius in 1604 A.D.,See Pages 209-210 of Gerard Gertoux's book: "The name of God Y.EH.OW.AH which is pronounced as it is written I_EH_OU_AH"] and later regarded by both Jews and some Christians as a mispronunciation, [ Jewish Encyclopedia of 1901-1906] ] it has nevertheless found a place in Christian liturgical and theological usage. It is the regular English rendition of Hebrew|יהוה in the American Standard Version, [According to the preface, this is because the translators felt that the "Jewish superstition, which regarded the Divine Name as too sacred to be uttered, ought no longer to dominate in the English or any other version of the Old Testament".] and occurs four times in the King James Version. [At Exodus 6:3, Psalm 83:18, Isaiah 12:2 and Isaiah 26:4. "Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible" (Iowa Falls: Word, 1994), 722.] It is also used in Christian hymns such as "Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah". [ [ Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah] ]

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 8, 1910 edition, page 329, states: “Jehovah, the proper name of God in the Old Testament."

Popularly, the name Jehovah is perhaps particularly associated with Jehovah's Witnesses. They give the following position (as expressed in "The Watchtower"):

The truth is, nobody knows for sure how the name of God was originally pronounced. Nevertheless, many prefer the pronunciation Jehovah. Why? Because it has a currency and familiarity that Yahweh does not have.Would it not, though, be better to use the form that might be closer to the original pronunciation? Not really, for that is not the custom with Bible names.To take the most prominent example, consider the name of Jesus. Do you know how Jesus' family and friends addressed him [...] ? The truth is, no human knows for certain, although it may have been something like Yeshua (or perhaps Yehoshua). It certainly was not Jesus. [] , [] )

Some however question the received view that the vowels of Jehovah originate with the word "Adonai" rather than an ancient pronunciation of YHWH. They note that details of vocalization differ between the various early extant manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible, and note that the vowel points of Jehovah and "Adonai" are not precisely the same, and that scholars are not in total agreement as to why this should be.

The pronunciation Jehovah

This pronunciation "Jehovah" is considered grammatically impossible by some; it arose through pronouncing the vowels of the "kere" (marginal reading of the Masorites: hebrew| = "Adonay") with the consonants of the "ketib" (text-reading: hebrew| = "Yhwh")—"Adonay" (the Lord) being substituted with one exception wherever Yhwh occurs in the Biblical and liturgical books.

"Adonay" presents the vowels "shewa" the composite ( hebrew| ) under the guttural hebrew| becomes simple ( hebrew| ) under the ( hebrew| ), "holem," and "kamez," and these give the reading ( hebrew| ) (= "Jehovah"). ::When the two names ( hebrew| ) and ( hebrew| ) occur together, the former is pointed with "hatef segol" ( Hebrew| ) under the ( hebrew| ) thus, hebrew| (="Jehovah")to indicate that in this combination it is to be pronounced "Elohim" ( hebrew| ).

These substitutions of "Adonay"and "Elohim" for YHWH were devised to avoid the profanation of the "Ineffable Name" ( hence hebrew| is also written ’hebrew|, or even ’hebrew|, and read "ha-Shem" = "the Name ").

The vowel points of Jehovah

Jewish tradition teaches that hebrew|יְהֹוָה has the vowel points of hebrew|אֲדֹנָי ("Adonai"), but the vowel points of these two words are not precisely the same, and scholars are not in total agreement as to why hebrew|יְהֹוָה does not have the precise same vowel points as "Adonai" has.

The use of the composite "shewa" "hatef segol" ( hebrew| ) in cases where "Elohim" is to be read has led to the opinion that the composite "shewa" "hatef patah" ( hebrew| ) ought to have been used to indicate the reading "Adonay."

It has been argued in reply that the disuse of the "patah" is in keeping with the Babylonian system, in which the composite "shewa" is not usual. But the reason why the "patah" is dropped is the non-guttural character of the "yod"; to indicate the reading "Elohim," however, the "segol" (and "hirek" under the last syllable, "i.e.", hebrew| ) had to appear in order that a mistake might not be made and "Adonay" be repeated.

Early English translators, unacquainted with or in opposition to Jewish tradition, read this word as they would any other word, and transcribed "Iehouah" (1530 A.D.), "Iehovah" (1611 A.D.), or "Jehovah" (1671 A.D.).

In Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (1890 A.D.), James Strong transliterated hebrew|יְהֹוָה as Yehovah. [] See also|Yahweh

Modern usage of the rendering Jehovah

The following works, either always or sometimes render the Tetragrammaton as Jehovah:
* William Tyndale, in his 1530 translation of the first five books of the English Bible, at Exodus 6:3 renders the divine name as Iehovah. In his note to this edition he wrote: "Iehovah is God's name...Moreover, as oft as thou seeist LORD in great letters (except there be any error in the printing) it is in Hebrew Iehovah."
* The King James (Authorized) Version, 1611: four times as the personal name of God (in all capital letters): Exodus 6:3; Psalm 83:18; Isaiah 12:2; Isaiah 26:4; and three times in place names: Genesis 22:14; Exodus 17:15; and Judges 6:24.
* Young's Literal Translation of the Holy Bible by J.N. Young, 1862, 1898 renders the Tetragrammaton as Jehovah 6831 times.
* A literal translation of the Old Testament (1890) and the New Testament (1884), by John Nelson Darby, renders the Tetragrammaton as Jehovah 6810 times in the main text.
* The American Standard Version, 1901 edition, consistently renders the Tetragrammaton as Je-ho’vah in all 6,823 places where it occurs in the Old Testament.
* The Modern Reader's Bible, 1914, by Richard Moulton, uses Jehovah at Ps.83:18; Ex.6:2-9; Ex.22:14; Ps.68:4; Jerm.16:20; Isa.12:2 & Isa. 26:4
* The New English Bible, published by Oxford University Press, 1970, e.g. Gen 22:14; Exodus 3:15,16; 6:3; 17:15; Judges 6:24
* The Literal Translation of the Holy Bible copyright © 1976-2000 by Jay P. Green, Sr., renders the Tetragrammaton as Jehovah 6,866 times.
* The Living Bible, published by Tyndale House Publishers, Illinois 1971, e.g. Gen 22:14, Exodus 3:15; 4:1-27; 17:15; Lev 19:1-36; Deut 4: 29, 39; 5:5, 6; Judges 6:16, 24; Ps 83:18; 110:1; Isaiah 45:1, 18; Amos 5:8; 6:8; 9:6
* The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, published by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc., Brooklyn, NY 1961 and last revised in 1984: 'Jehovah' appears in the bible text 7,210 times, i.e. 6,973 in the Hebrew scriptures (OT), 237 times in the Christian Greek scriptures (NT).
* The Bible in Today's English (Good News Bible), published by the American Bible Society, 1976, in its preface states, 'the distinctive Hebrew name for God (usually transliterated Jehovah or Yahweh) is in this translation represented by "The Lord."' In the footnote to Exodus 6:3 they refer to their footnote for Exodus 3:14 which says of the ' Yahweh, traditionally transliterated as Jehovah."
* In The Emphatic Diaglott, by Benjamin Wilson, the name Jehovah is found at Matthew 21:9 and in 17 other places in this translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures (NT). In Italian, the divine name of God is rendered as "Jeova", or "Geova" (soft 'G'), and some Catholic churches in Italy bear the name in this form in their architecture.
The Coat of Arms of Plymouth [] (UK) City Council bears the Latin inscription, "TURRIS FORTISSIMA EST NOMEN JEHOVA". [See Civic Heraldry] (See [] , [Civic Heraldry of the United Kingdom] ) being the Latin translation of the first part of the Hebrew bible 'proverb' at Proverbs 18:10, (OT).

Although the original pronunciation of Hebrew|יהוה has become lost, for many centuries the popular English word for the personal name of God has been “Jehovah”. This is why some religious groups, notably Jehovah's Witnesses and the King-James-Only Movement, make prominent use, in English speaking countries, of the pronunciation, "Jehovah." Among Jehovah's Witnesses, the name varies according to the common pronunciation in the language spoken, and terms definitively referencing the Hebrew Tetragrammaton, such as Yahweh, are considered equally useful.

Similarly well-established English substitutions for Hebrew personal names include Joshua, Isaiah, Jesus, and others, the original pronunciations for many of which have also been lost.


Under the heading "hebrew|יהוה c. 6823", the editors of the Brown-Driver-Briggs Lexicon write that hebrew|יְהֹוָה occurs 6518 times in the Masoretic Text. [Brown-Driver-Briggs Lexicon [] ]

Early transcriptions of hebrew|יהוה similar to "Jehovah"

* Ιεωα: (Ieōa, IPA|/ˈj:oʊɐ/) in Hellenistic magical texts #'#' marks forms listed by [ Sir Godfrey Driver] .

Early transcriptions of hebrew|יְהֹוָה similar to "Jehovah"

Transcriptions of hebrew|יְהֹוָה similar to
"Jehovah" occurred as early as the
13th century.

*1278: "Jehova/Yohoua": in the work "Pugio fidei" by the Spanish monk Raymond Martin (Raymundus Martini). [On page 152 of Gerard Gertoux's book: "The name of God Y.EH.OW.AH which is pronounced as it is written I_EH_OU_AH" is a photo of bilingual Latin (or Spanish) text and Hebrew text [side by side] written by Raymond Martin in 1278 A.D, with in its last sentence "hebrew|יְהוָֹה" opposite "yohoua".]
*1303: "Yohouah": in the book "Porchetus' Victory Against the Ungodly Hebrews." by Porchetus de Salvaticis. [ Page 153 of Gerard Gertoux's book: "The name of God Y.EH.OW.AH which is pronounced as it is written I_EH_OU_AH"] . []
*1518: "Iehoua": in "De Arcanis
Catholicæ Veritatis",1518, folio
xliii by Pope Leo X's confessor
Peter Galatin (Galatinus)
*1530: "Iehouah": Tyndale's Pentateuch
*1611: "Iehovah": King James Bible of 1611
*1671: "Jehovah": 1671 [OT] / 1669 [NT] edition of the King James Bible

The editors of the Brown-Driver-Briggs Lexicon write that the pronunciation "Jehovah" was unknown until 1520 when it was introduced by Galatinus; but it was contested by Le Mercier, J. Drusius, and L. Capellus, as against grammatical and historical propriety. The English transcription "Jehovah" appears in King James Versions as early as the 1670s and in subsequent versions. The critique of the English transcription Jehovah, as well as the critique of Galatinus's Latin Transcription "Iehoua", and the earlier English transcriptions "Iehouah" and "Iehovah", is based on the belief of scholars that the vowel points of hebrew|יְהֹוָה are not the actual vowel points of God's name.

Thus while most scholarly sources say that scholars are critiquing the name "Jehovah", Galatinus's Latin Transcription "Iehoua" and the earlier English transcriptions "Iehouah" [1530 A.D.] and "Iehovah" [1611 A.D.] were being critiqued before the English transcription "Jehovah" [1671] ever started to appear. From a pronunciation standpoint in English, "Iehouah" has the same pronunciation and sounds identical to "Jehovah".

All three transcriptions have the vowels "e" and "o" and "a", and scholars believe that those vowels are from another word [i.e. "Adonay" / "Adonai"] , but as noted in the introduction of this article, the vowel points of hebrew|יְהֹוָה and the vowel points of "Adonay / Adonai" are not precisely the same. [See Section 3 and Section 3.1 for more information]

Kethib and Qere and Qere perpetuum

The original consonantal text of the Hebrew Bible was provided with vowel marks by the Masoretes to assist reading. In places where the consonants of the text to be read (the "Qere") differed from the consonants of the written text (the "Kethib"), they wrote the "Qere" in the margin as a note showing what was to be read. In such a case the vowels of the "Qere" were written on the "Kethib". For a few very frequent words the marginal note was omitted: this is called "Q're perpetuum".

One of these frequent cases was God's name, that should not be pronounced, but read as "adonai" ("My Lord [plural of majesty] "), or, if the previous or next word already was "adonai", as "elohim" (God). This combination produces hebrew|יְהֹוָה and hebrew|יֱהֹוִה respectively, non-words that would spell "yehovah" and "yehovih" respectively.

The first early modern English Bible translators to transcribe God's name into English did not contact Jewish scholars, and did not know of the "Q're perpetuum" custom, but transcribed "hebrew|יְהֹוָה" into English as they saw it. It therefore became "Iehouah" in 1530 (Tyndale's translation of the Pentateuch), "Iehovah" in 1611, and "Jehovah" in editions of the King James Bible dated 1670 or so.

The spelling gradually settling down as Roman alphabet J and V became distinct letters from I and U. The transcription "Iehouah" was used in the 16th century by many authors Roman Catholic and Protestant, but not Coverdale's Bible translation in 1535. [In the 7th paragraph of "Introduction to the Old Testament of the New English Bible", [ Sir Godfry Driver wrote] , "The Reformers preferred Jehovah, which first appeared as "Iehouah" in 1530 A.D., in Tyndale's translation of the Pentateuch (Exodus 6.3), from which it passed into other Protestant Bibles."]

Examining the vowel points of hebrew|יְהֹוָה and hebrew|אֲדֹנָי

In the table below, "Yehovah" and "Adonay" are dissected

ummary of the criticism of the transcription Jehovah

The following text is found in [ Smith's 1863 "A Dictionary of the Bible"] . William Smith gives his summary of the results of the ten discourses mentioned in the previous section:

*In the decade of dissertations collected by Reland, Fuller, Gataker, and Leusden do battle for the pronunciation Jehovah, against such formidable antagonists as Drusius, Amama, Cappellus, Buxtorf, and Altingius, who, it is scarcely necessary to say, fairly beat their opponents out of the field; "the only argument of any weight, which is employed by the advocates of the pronunciation of the word as it is written being that derived from the form in which it appears in proper names, such as Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, &c."
*"Their antagonists make a strong point of the fact that, as has been noticed above, two different sets of vowel points are applied to the same consonants under certain circumstances. To this Leusden, of all the champions on his side, but feebly replies."
*The same may be said of the argument derived from the fact that the letters hebrew|, when prefixed to hebrew|, take, not the vowels which they would regularly receive were the present pronunciation true, but those with which they would be written if hebrew|, "adonai", were the reading; and that the letters ordinarily taking "dagesh lene" when following hebrew| would, according to the rules of the Hebrew points, be written without dagesh, whereas it is uniformly inserted.

William Smith concludes:
*Whatever, therefore, be the true pronunciation of the word, there can be little doubt that it is not "Jehovah".

In defense of the transcription Jehovah

It is interesting to note, that in spite of Smith's comments, he consistently uses the name "Jehovah" throughout his dictionary and when translating Hebrew names. Some examples include Isaiah ["Jehovah's help or salvation"] , Jehoshua ["Jehovah a helper"] , Jehu ["Jehovah is He"] . This practice is also followed in the New Compact Bible Dictionary (Special Crusade Edition) of 1967 sponsored by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Peloubet's Bible Dictionary of 1947.

As mentioned in the previous section, the defenders of the transcription Jehovah believed that theophoric names such as Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, etc, indicated that Jehovah was the actual name of God.

The following text is found in the first sentence of the article: "Jehovah" in William Smith's 1863 "A Dictionary of the Bible":

"JEHOVAH ( יְהֹוָה, usually with the vowel points of אֲדֹנָי ; but when the two occur together, the former is pointed יֱהֹוִה, that is with the vowels of אֱלֹהִים, as in Obad. i. 1, Hab. iii. 19:" []

The two vocalizations of the Tetragrammaton shown above were both critiqued by John Drusius in 1604 A.D.. However as noted below, Davidson defends the vowel points of יְהֹוָה. [See also sub section 3.1 above.]

In Scott Jones' article "Jehovah", under the heading "Davidson on the Tetragrammaton", Davidson explains why he believes that the fact that the Masoretes did not point Hebrew|יְהֹוָה with the precise same vowel points as are found in Adonay indicated that the vowel points of יְהֹוָה are the actual vowel points of God's name.

*The vocalized Hebrew spelling "Yahweh" is found in no extant Hebrew text.
*The central "ou" or "o" in some Greek transcriptions point to a pronunciation with a "u" or "o" vowel in the middle, i.e. "Yehowa".::However Greek, since it stopped using the digamma, when transcribing foreign words and names has had to write the "w" consonant sound as a vowel "u" or similar (or in later times as β, after the Greek pronunciation of β changed from "b" to "v"). [Jehovah [] ]

George W. Buchanan argues::"In the dozens of Biblical names that incorporate the divine name, this middle vowel sound appears in both the original and the shortened forms, such as in Jehonathan and Jonathan. “In no case is the vowel oo or oh omitted. The word was sometimes abbreviated as ‘Ya,’ but never as ‘Ya-weh.’ ... When the Tetragrammaton was pronounced in one syllable it was ‘Yah’ or ‘Yo.’ When it was pronounced in three syllables it would have been ‘Yahowah’ or ‘Yahoowah.’ If it was ever abbreviated to two syllables it would have been ‘Yaho.’” [ BAR 21.2 (March-April 1995), 31 George W. Buchanan, “How God’s Name Was Pronounced” ]

The Preface to the 1901 edition of the Standard American Edition of the Revised Version of the Bible states:

The change first proposed in the Appendix - that is which substitutes "Jehovah" for "LORD" and "GOD" (printed in small capitals) - is one which will be unwelcome to many, because of the frequency and familiarity of the terms displaces. But the American Revisers, after a careful consideration, were brought to the unanimous conviction that a Jewish superstition, which regarded the Divine Name as too sacred to be uttered, ought no longer to dominate in the English or any other version of the Old Testament, as it fortunately does not in the numerous versions made by modern missionaries. This Memorial Name, explained in Ex. iii. 14, 15, and emphasized as such over and over in the original text of the Old Testament, designates God as the personal God, as the covenant God, the God of revelation, the Deliverer, the Friend of his people; - not merely the abstractly "Eternal One" of many French translations, but the ever living Helper of those who are in trouble. This personal name, with its wealth of sacred associations, is now restored to the place in the sacred text to which it has an unquestionable claim.
For arguments for the pronunciation "Yahweh", see Yahweh.

Resulting consensus

Reland agreed with the opponents of "Jehovah", and since his days the majority opinion has been roughly what is expressed in the article "JEHOVAH" of the Jewish Encyclopedia of 1901-1906 [] , that the pronunciation was "Yahweh". See also:

Use of "Jehovah" in English

* 1530: "Iehouah" appeared in Tyndale's translation of the Pentateuch (at Exodus 6.3 for instance) upwards of 20 times. This custom continued with Miles Coverdale's translation in 1535, John Rogers Matthew Bible in 1537, the Great Bible of 1539, the Geneva Bible of 1560, Bishop's Bible of 1568, the King James of 1611, the Revised Version of 1885 and the American Standard Version in 1901 and the New World Translation of the Holy scriptures. The Revised Standard Version (1952) was the first mainline English translation to not use Jehovah in the main text. Nor does it tranliterate "alleluia" [sometimes 'Hallelujah'] in any of the four occurrences found in many English translations [in the 19th chapter of Revelation] .
*1611: hebrew|יְהֹוָה is translated "IEHOVAH" ("JEHOVAH" from at least the 17th century on) in all uppercase in four places in the King James Bible of 1611 A.D.(Exodus 6:3, Psalm 83:18, Isaiah 12:2, Isaiah 26:4), and three times in placenames (e.g. Jehovah-jireh). Elsewhere in the King James Bible it is rendered as GOD or LORD. [ [ In a chart labeled "The Bible Compared: Exodus"] , Exodus 6:3 shows "IEHOVAH" [in all capital letters] in the KJV [1611] .]

ee also

* Yahweh
* Adon
* Allah
* Ea
* El
* Ellil
* Elohim
* God
* God in the Bahá'í Faith, God in Christianity, God in Islam, God in Judaism
* Gott
* I am that I am
* Jah
* Jehovah's Witnesses
* Names of God
* Names of God in Judaism
* Theophoric names::* Jehoshaphat, Jehonadab, Tobijah :* [*| Search: Jeho* ] , [*iah| *iah ] , [*iah| *ijah]
* Yam (Ya'a, Yaw)


External links

* [ The Divine Name That Will Live Forever]

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